The Knights of Columbus Council 3335 St. Louis Church in Gallipolis held their annual Free Throw Contest at the GDC Gym for the developmentally disabled children of Guiding Hands School and the adults of Gallco Industries in observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. All of the participants received t-shirts and plaques. Council 3335 has been doing this for over 20 years. Laura Griffith Johnson of Guiding Hand and Lisa Ward of Gallco were among others very helpful.
The knights receive more from the experience than they give in organizing the event, keeping score, refereeing, and cheering on the participants. It was fulfilling and fun. The kids and adults teach the men to appreciate their blessings and give them an opportunity to love.
The men see in them a special beauty as children of God. Beautiful is their simplicity and ability to enjoy the little things in life. They see the heart rather than the disability. One knight exclaimed: “They’ll probably make it to heaven before all of us while we beg for mercy!” As Mother Theresa said, God does not ask us to be successful; He asks us to be faithful. Success is really doing one’s best to serve with love relative to one’s abilities and opportunities. There are canonized saints who were handicapped and their disability made them saints through unusual holiness and heroic virtue.
The state funded Guiding Hand School with 50 students includes pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school………from the 3 Rs to life, social, and job skills. When adults, they live with their families, in group homes, or if possible on their own in supervised apartments. There’s one who drives a car.
Gallco Industries, a sheltered workshop, focuses on job training and rehabilitation in addition to skills necessary for independent living such as handling money and other activities. The emphasis is on what they can do rather than what they cannot. The workers receive minimum wage, doing such jobs as product labeling and working on gears for GKN. Galco provides cleaning and lawn care crews for churches and other institutions. Some transition into jobs in the community, working for Arby, Walmart, captain D, Red’s Auto, etc. Holding a job gives them so much dignity. DISABLED DOES NOT MEAN UNABLE.
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic lay organization. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Church, their communities, and youth. With more than 1.8 million members in over 15,000 councils around the world, the Knights of Columbus annually donates more than $170 million and 70 million hours of service to charitable causes. The most prominent community activities of the St. Louis Council include the Coats for Kids campaign, Substance Abuse Awareness, and the Basketball Free Throw for developmentally disabled children and adults of the Rehabilitation Center. Please visit kofc.org and kofcohio.org for more information.
All faithful Catholic men of the area are invited to join the Knights of Columbus (call Bruce Davison, the Grand Knight at 256-1427). Members enjoy great fellowship along with family activities and opportunities to serve the parish and the community. A big bonus is the life insurance program to protect families. It ranks at the very top as to financial stability among all insurance organizations and companies. Any profits do not go to stockholders, but rather are returned to the insured in rebates and used for a number of charitable causes.